Russia lost 7 aircraft in Ukraine's April 5 attack on air base

According to a source within Ukraine’s military intelligence (HUR), Russia suffered the loss of seven military aircraft during Ukraine's drone attack on the Yeysk air base in Krasnodar Krai on April 5, as reported by the Kyiv Independent on April 7.

Ukrainian forces carried out coordinated attacks on three Russian airfields on April 5, utilizing unidentified drones in the operation. The strikes targeted the Yeysk, Engels-2, and Kursk airfields, marking a joint effort between military intelligence and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The source from HUR revealed that the Ukrainian drone attack resulted in damage to four Russian Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets, two transport aircraft, and one Beriev Be-200 Altair. The Beriev Be-200 Altair is a versatile jet-powered amphibious flying boat used for various purposes including firefighting, search and rescue missions, maritime patrol, and transportation of cargo and passengers.

Additionally, the attack reportedly destroyed the diesel power station at the airport. Notably, the Yeysk air base serves as the location for Russia’s Naval Aviation 859th Center, which is responsible for training pilots.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian troops have intensified their strikes against military and industrial targets in Russia. Employing domestically produced long-range drones, Ukraine has successfully targeted oil refineries and weapons facilities. In response, Russia has announced plans to bolster its air defense efforts in these critical areas.

Russian strikes injure 5 in Kharkiv

On April 7, multiple Russian strikes hit a residential area in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, injuring five people as reported by the regional prosecutor's office.

The attack targeted an industrial zone and a central park within the city. Kharkiv, located approximately 40 kilometers (24 miles) south of the Russian border, has been facing near-daily attacks, according to Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov.

The close proximity to the border often hampers the ability of air defense systems to detect launches of Russian missiles toward Kharkiv in time. Some missiles have been observed hitting Kharkiv at least 40 seconds after launch.

The strikes resulted in damage to at least 13 multi-story buildings and private houses, along with educational institutions, cafes, dormitories, a hotel, and vehicles, according to the prosecutors.

Preliminary information suggests that the Russian forces employed two guided bombs in the attack on the city.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov stated on April 1 that the city would require over $10 billion to rebuild everything that has been damaged or destroyed by Russian forces.

Just the day prior, President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to international partners to provide Ukraine with modern air defense systems to defend against Russian attacks.

Zelensky emphasized the need for comprehensive coverage, suggesting that having 25 Patriot systems, each with six to eight batteries, would be preferable for Ukraine's defense.

Overnight, Kharkiv Oblast was targeted by Russian drones, adding to the ongoing assaults.

On April 6, Russian forces executed a so-called double-tap attack on Kharkiv, strategically targeting emergency workers by luring them in after the initial assault and then launching another attack as the rescue operation commenced.

According to Ukrainian officials, more than 20,000 buildings have been destroyed in Kharkiv since February 24, 2022.

Zelensky says Kharkiv is prepared for a potential Russian offensive

In an interview on April 6, President Volodymyr Zelensky asserted that "Kharkiv is protected" in the event of a potential offensive by Russia.

Despite recent intensified attacks on Kharkiv and reports suggesting the possibility of a Russian ground offensive against Ukraine's second-largest city, Ukraine's military intelligence characterized the notion as "a part of a Russian psychological operation." They noted that there were no indications of Moscow preparing new attack formations for a ground offensive.

Zelensky emphasized the current security of Kharkiv, citing the strength of local defensive lines and the readiness of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He acknowledged that Russians have openly identified Kharkiv as a desirable target but remained confident in the city's protection.